Judge gives Georgia man 10 years to life for assault
Since this story originally appeared in the Summit Daily News, Thomas Detko had his conviction thrown out on appeal.
A three-judge appellate court ruled unanimously in 2005 that he could not be acquitted of a primary crime yet also convicted and sentenced for what is known as a “sentence enhancer” that is based on a conviction for the primary crime.
Detko was found not guilty of sexual assault ” the primary crime alleged ” but improperly convicted of the sentence enhancer of having sexual contact with his accuser when he knew that she was physically helpless, the appeals court ruled.
LEADVILLE – A Georgia man who was convicted in Summit County of supplying his children’s babysitter with drugs and sexually assaulting her was sentenced Friday to 10 years to life in prison.
The man walked out of the Leadville courthouse, however, free on an appeal bond.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert won a conviction against Thomas Detko, of Marietta, Ga., in January. A jury found Detko guilty of felony sexual assault and distribution of a controlled substance.
In the two-day trial, Hurlbert presented evidence that Detko provided the then-18-year-old victim with an herbal product known as Zen and the drug ecstasy. The victim reportedly met Detko a little more than two years ago when she babysat his children and taught his daughter snowboaring at a resort in West Virginia. The woman reported the assault to police in Frisco, where Detko had a condominium. Officers obtained a search warrant for Detko’s home and found marijuana and the herbal product.
Detko was originally scheduled for sentencing April 7, but the hearing was delayed twice. Hurlbert said he feared the judge would let Detko off easy, and that he and probation officers, who conducted a presentence investigation, were recommending a harsh sentence. Although the trial was conducted in Summit County, the sentence was handed down in the judicial district’s court in Leadville.
Each charge carried a possible sentence of four to 16 years in prison, as well as fines and mandatory parole.
Detko and his attorney have 45 days to file an appeal with the Colorado Court of Appeals.
“It’s a good sentence,” Hurlbert said. “He has a prison sentence hanging over his head, but in the meantime he’s able to be free.”
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